To be successful in real estate, you have to play a big game. You have to operate on a large scale, whether it's combing through a lot of new listings every day, walking through a lot of properties, talking to a lot of people, working with a large team of various contractors, and even aiming for large profit margins when you flip a house, just to be safe and conservative with your projections.
And when you flip a house or have a great new listing to sell, it’s even more important to play a big game by having access to a large pool of potential buyers.
Therefore, any successful real estate investors will tell you that their buyers list is not an invaluable tool, but something they work on and add to consistently. Buyers come and go, but when you have a great listing you want to move fast (without paying Realtors 6% and putting it on the market), the bigger your buyers list that you've carefully cultivated, the more you're guaranteed to earn.
Of course, there are some investors that focus on supplying to a few wholesale buyers, but then, you're also beholden to their prices and terms. And if they ever change course or stop using you, you're out of business.
So the buyers list is something you should be building from Day 1 in your real estate investing career.
Five Ways to Grow Your Buyers List
- Networking groups:
They say that the universe rewards energy, and I've found that it rewards communication even more! So stay connected with the real estate investment community by attending as many serious, efficient networking groups and meetings as you can, like your local REIA; Real Estate Investors Association.
Here in Broward County, The Broward Real Estate Investors Association is a perfect example of a networking organization that's all about empowering and connecting its members, including growing their buyers lists!
- For Sale signs:
Signs, signs, signs. As much as business is online these days, there's no replacement for a good old-fashioned yard sign. So whenever you have a property for sale, put up a clean, clear, and colorful For Sale sign with your cell phone, email, and website. You'll be surprised how much drive-by interest you get on the property, and even though they may not be an immediate buyer, they can go right onto your buyers list for future updates!
- Online platforms and social media sites:
When the average person starts their home search, they may not only turn to a Realtor or the MLS, but also pay attention to homes for sale on Craigslist, Facebook, and Zillow. Of course, sites like Zillow are far from ideal for wholesale deals, but it's all about getting your completed flip or new listing in front of as many eyes as possible. With those platforms, a strong buyer with a conventional loan may step up.
Additionally, sites like Facebook and even Pinterest are great for creating awareness and exposure for your properties, as they're fundamentally image (or video) driven, and foster social sharing.
- Public records searches:
Keep tabs on the online property auctions in your county, and you might find an occasional foreclosure sale coming up. You can also look through the county appraiser websites regularly to see who just recorded as the new owner. You can do this with MLS properties, as well, so your finger is on the pulse of just about every transaction that may fit your target profile. To be more efficient with these searches, use a database software program like ReiFax or ReiPro.
Of course, there are other real estate investors operating in your same city and niche. But instead of always viewing them as your competition, use them as a resource! Add these wholesaler investors to your buyers list and they may be interested in some of your projects – not for themselves, but to sell to one of their own buyers, albeit with a margin built-in for their profit! Win-win!